I started this month on a high note, writing a lot on my blog, traveling, going out, getting lots of work done, and balancing the many, many plates that we all juggle. At the end of the first week of March, I was on top of my game when one of the plates dropped. A difficulty that I thought had been resolved came back again as an open issue needing my attention. And I faltered. If you have ever watched a plate juggler in real life or on TV (or perhaps tried it yourself!), you know that when one plate falls, pretty soon all the plates are down, and you have quite a mess. Since I was spinning plates at maximum capacity, lots of plates crashed to the floor, andme along with it.
For me, and maybe for you, some of what is on my schedule is there because I have to do it, but a lot of what’s there are things I want to do. I want to have tea with another yoga studio owner, I want to plan a weekend away with my husband, and I want to meet with studio staff and students. Spending time is a bit like spending money. It’s so easy and fun to spend it that before we know it, we are broke! When I got my first job, I remember a boss telling me that I needed to always pay myself first. I never did learn that lesson.
So I have been Cloistered — seeing other people as little as possible, even with people who are so kind as to want to help me talk through things or even take on some of the work. I tell them about my C&C, and tell them that I will be in touch when I’m back out in the world. And I have Convalesced — treating myself as if I had just been ill — sleeping and resting, eating as well as I can, and trying to get gentle exercise.
During my C&C, I was able to restore my energy, re-prioritize my life, and recharge my enthusiasm for living. Limiting our connection with others may sound counterproductive, but we interact with dozens or even hundreds of people each day, and more if you count the internet, Facebook, Linkedin and the like. I am convinced that most of us aren’t wired for so much contact and so many different activities, and it simply overwhelms our nervous systems.
Now, at the end of the month and after about 10 days of C&C, I have many of my plates back up in the air, but with more awareness about each plate and why I am spinning it. Practicing C&C is a way to pay ourselves first rather than burning up all of our valuable time on outside activities. It also allows us to weed out any unnecessary plates that we are spinning out of habit. If we set aside a little C&C time every day or week, we may not be able to spin quite as many plates, but we also won’t risk making such a big mess of them and suffering as a result.
As Thich Nhat Hanh says:
Give it a try. And if you see me with too many plates again, you can suggest that I try some C&C, and I will do the same for you.
with much love,